A reader writes:
The RAND corporation put out a similar study, specifically parsing whether a small tax or larger tax would be preferable in order to achieve the supposed reduction in caloric intake.
Talk of taxing soda and sweets misses the bigger economic distortion caused by the roughly $20 billion dollars the federal government spends on agricultural subsidies, most of which goes to large agribusiness - not small family farms. Here’s a conservative idea from a Seattle liberal: Cut the total agricultural subsidies in half and save the money from administering another tax. Production of corn goes down, the price of soda and sweets goes up, consumption might go down, and liberty and freedom from taxes reigns. Who would oppose this? (I mean, other than the Senators from rural states and agribusiness, both of whom milk the current system.)
Rather than a tax, how about we get rid of the U.S. Sugar Program? Yes, there is a US Department of Agriculture program that subsidizes the production of sugar!
And eliminate the sugar tariffs while we're at it, so I don't have to go out of my way to buy Coca-Cola from Mexico, where REAL sugar is used.